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How Covid 19 Will Impact your Study-Abroad Experience

Time:2021-03-11 00:46:13


Discover how your study abroad experience would be different because of Covid-19 and what measure universities have put in place.

If you had plans to start your degree abroad with a bang only to have it fizzle out because of Covid-19, we are here to encourage you that you will still be able to do so!

Although the coronavirus has impacted all areas of human society in the past year, education providers continue to implement new ways to deliver lessons despite the constraints of social-distancing. As a student during the pandemic, you may have been presented with challenges you wouldn’t normally face in a physical classroom setting, such as online classes and virtual appointments.

Likewise, universities globally are putting in similar measures to provide the best quality education while protecting the health of their students. While studying abroad is still possible, you as a student ought to know what ‘new normals’ to expect in the classroom during the pandemic.

If you would like some insight on how your university studies overseas could be different, read on.


How will my study-abroad experience be different?

While it may be inaccurate to say all universities globally will provide the same measures and standards of practice during this season, we can help you get a general idea of what may be in place as demonstrated by what our partnered UK universities have done:

Learning and Academics

As you may think, the majority of classes will be run virtually to reduce risk of infection and spread of the virus, especially within large cohorts of students. In the UK, the majority of universities have implemented a new method of teaching known as blended learning.

Blended learning mixes scheduled virtual lectures with face-to-face tutorials. The tutorials give you a chance to meet up in small groups of students and lecturers in a socially-distanced, physical setting to discuss your academic learning and projects.

Specialised study-areas such as laboratories, studios, clinical spaces and practical areas for certain courses will only allow a certain number of students in at any time. If your course requires you to make use of these facilities, you may be put on rotation basis.

When you begin your studies, you will be assigned a personal tutor, usually a member of staff in your course’s department. They will be your first point of contact if you need assistance or advice about your student life, academic progress and university experience. During the pandemic, you will be able to arrange 1-to-1 online meetings with your tutor to voice any concerns about your student experience.

Most universities now release recordings of lectures so you may re-watch any lectures you may have missed. This allows students who may be distance-learning, especially in different time-zones, the benefit of attending lectures without having to stay up until odd-hours. 

(It may important to note that pre-Covid, only a few universities provided recordings of lectures for students.)


Access to Support and Facilities

At university, students can access a variety of support services and campus facilities to help ensure their study experience runs smoothly. During Covid-19, you will still be able to access these, albeit with some new measures in place.

Mental health is among one of the biggest concerns for students, especially while they are forced to stay indoors for long periods during quarantine. To counter this, universities provide mental health support services such as a 24-hour nightline where students speak with a trained counsellor or assigning a uni-buddy who you can talk to about student-life concerns.

Most institutions have a physical library, study-spaces or similar campus facilities where students can go to concentrate on their studies or conduct group project discussions. While the pandemic is in place, you might have to expect that these spaces will require pre-booking before you can make use of them.

On the other hand, if you need to access library resources such as books and journals but are not too keen on going to the campus library, you can also use your university’s digital library. Almost all universities provide digital libraries where you can access your course’s reading lists, conduct literature research for your assignments and general academic reading.


Accommodation and Societies

A large part of your student experience will revolve around the community you interact with, including your housemates and people who share similar interests as you in student societies or groups.

During the Covid season, you and the people you interact with will be known as a ‘social bubble’, which mainly consists of your housemates as well as the people on your course. The UK government will be constantly updating the guidelines on how people within social bubbles can socialise, so it is important that you check the news once in a while to stay updated.

Student societies give you opportunities to meet with people who have similar interests as you. While it might be difficult for societies which require physical meetings to host activities, the majority of societies are still running activities online. This is so that when the situation improves and people can physically meet again, you wouldn’t be a stranger to the group!


Why students choose to study in the UK

So, after seeing how UK institutions have put effort into supporting their students, you may be wondering if studying at a UK university may be for you.

At UKEC, we encourage students of all ages to put considerable thought into their options for abroad studies, as it may be a financially demanding investment into their future. Despite the trying circumstances, we still receive many enquiries from students about studying in the United Kingdom.

Here are a few reasons why students still choose to study in the UK:

A world-recognised qualification

Degrees from UK universities are recognised internationally for their quality and exposure to the latest in research of their respective fields. Its recognition will widen your career prospects and make you a more valuable candidate for job opportunities.

International Experience

Going to another country is a big decision to make, but it will provide you with experiences you can’t receive from studying locally. UK universities have an internationally diverse student-body; you will make friends and network with people from a range of different backgrounds, helping you build a more developed personal perspective of the world.

Work Experience

Studying in the UK allows you the opportunity to take on a placement, giving you an extra year during your degree to apply for a job at a UK company and gain work experience before your final year of studies.

What’s more, the UK government recently implemented the new post-study-work-visa which allows international students to stay an additional 2 years after graduation to find work in the country.

Personal development

Studying in another country can be a challenge, but it’s only when we face challenges that we can truly grow! When you study abroad, you will live independently and learn how to do things by yourself, such as cooking, moving accommodations, applying for part-time/full-time jobs and more.


In conclusion...

While your UK study experience will be different than those who have gone before you, there’s not doubt that it will be a unique one.

As the world is still midway in the Covid-19 crisis, universities are doing the best job possible to make sure students have the best experience during these difficult times. Despite the obstacles you may face, a UK degree is still one of the most highly-regarded qualifications globally which can give you an edge in your career. By putting in the effort to complete your degree during these trying times, you will be able to bring some unique experiences with you when you search for a graduate job.

Furthermore, the UK government has announced that all students will be eligible to receive the vaccine for the coronavirus (provided they are registered with a recognised GP). As an international student, you can rest assured that you are on the same level of priority to receiving the vaccine as any UK student.

Choosing the right path to your higher education is an important decision to make. Be sure to consider all your options carefully before diving in!

If you would like some advice on your study choices, click here to speak with an education counsellor today!